City Attorney of the City of Hesperia

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Hesperia is a general law city in San Bernardino County’s High Desert.

As of today, the City Attorney (and Redevelopment Agency Counsel) of Hesperia is Eric Dunn. He is also the City Attorney of Perris.   In the proposed 2011-2012 budget, the City Attorney line item is $300,000. According to the proposed budget, the City Attorney “reviews Council actions and policy for legal considerations.”  City of Hesperia, Proposed 2011-2012 Budget, Page F-3.

The City Attorney is appointed by the City Council and serves as legal counsel to the City, Water and Fire Districts, and
the Hesperia Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as various commissions and committees. The City Attorney
advises elected officials and staff on legal issues relating to policy decisions, represents the City in litigation and
administrative matters, and provides necessary legal review of ordinances, resolutions, agreements, contracts, and
other documents.  Id. at F5.


The Budget continues:

Provided timely and appropriate legal advice on a variety of issues.
Resolved several outstanding and new litigation matters in an effective and cost-efficient manner.

Assisted in negotiation, drafting, and implementation of agreements to further economic development, capital
improvement and affordable housing programs.

Provide legal services and advice that will limit the City’s exposure to claims for damages, and aggressively
represent the City when engaged in litigation.
Facilitate planning and land use projects and environmental review.
Provide prompt drafting and review of agreements, ordinances, resolutions and memoranda in support to the City
Council, City Manager, Planning Commission, and City departments.
Act as general counsel for the Redevelopment Agency by advising and representing the Agency Board and staff on
legal issues affecting the Agency, including economic development projects and development of housing
rehabilitation and other affordable housing programs.
Keep the City Council and City Manager informed on new legal developments affecting the City.
Continue to control costs for legal services.

The City Attorney is not mentioned in the Hesperia Municipal Code very often, except that the City Attorney is not subject to removal by the City Manager (Hesperia Municipal Code section 2.08.070(C), the City Attorney and any assistant is not subject to the personnel system set up in Chapter 2.24, and the City Council retains the right to solicit for City Attorney services in section 3.08.070(A)(4) (Purchasing).  There are other, minor references to the City Attorney, and there does not appear to be a chapter devoted to the powers of the City Attorney.  The Code refers to Government Code section 41801 et seq. regarding the City Attorney.

The budget has other legal expenses budgeted for 2011-2012.  Account 7650 is “Legal Services” and the amount budgeted is $488,500.  I am not sure if that includes the amount budgeted to the City Attorney.  Account 7563 is “Litigation Services” which is budgeted at $50,000.  Account 7565 is “Claims/Lawsuits/Settlement” which is budgeted at $50,000.   There is also account 7570, Insurance Services of $552,000.

The City of Hesperia also has an in-house Risk Management Division within the Human Resources Department.  The City of Hesperia is part of a general liability joint powers authority or authorities.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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Redlands CA 92373-5235
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